The coffeehouse company has spent $2 million to both retrofit the facility at 130 Anderson St. and purchase the equipment, with an additional $1 million coming from its landlord. The company also raised money from the community.
Bridgehead replaced the windows, floor and roof, put in new gas and electrical services and re-introduced a skylight (that was previously removed) to shine light on the patrons.
Coffee afficionados can sit near the front door and watch the coffee being brewed in the nearby roaster, while watching employees stack beans in the warehouse behind.
The warehouse will also serve as a training facility for Bridgehead and will be available for event rentals.
Bridgehead has posted 38 per cent revenue growth annually, on average, since 2000. Other financial metrics are not released for competitive reasons.
Of course, the company (which now has coffeehouses scattered across Ottawa's urban landscape) began as a much smaller venture. Tracey Clark, Bridgehead's managing director, has these tips for those people seeking business success.
1) Be passionate. Do not go into business for the money – do it because you love it so much that that love will sustain you.
2) Perservere. There are a lot of days as an entrepreneur where you are working your 60th day in a row, but the rewards always outweigh these challenges.
3) Invest in people and training. Promote from within wherever possible to build loyalty. This is especially important in retail.
4) Be committed to quality. Customer service, as well as the product, are two business metrics that cannot be compromised on.
5) Stay true to your customer. Always underpromise and overdeliver, and be willing to serve.
Her company was featured in a KMPG Enterprise book, That'll Never Work, which was promoted at an event in the coffee facility on Tuesday.
Also included was Deslaurier Custom Cabinets, a Renfrew-area business that survived not one, but two fires in its history because it always emphasized building relationships with its suppliers, who stepped in to help.